More than a third of the starting field in the 143rd British Open Championship also teed it up this spring in the Shell Houston ...
HGA Academic Scholarship Recipients for 2014 (from left) Jacqueline Phung of Richmond Foster, Hailey Hollas of Richmond Travis, Atiyya Menifee of Houston Carver, Tony Ly of Pasadena Dobie, Martha Parra of Spring and Isaiah Carter of Aldine.
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Vijay Singh (2002)
TPC at The Woodlands
- April 16, 2003
Mike Weir can win by going low and by not going so low. He won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic earlier this year with a 30-under effort, but his two most recent wins offered the year's highest winning scores. He won the Nissan Open at 9-under and, last week, the Masters at 7-under.
More On Weir: His bogey-free final round was only the fourth in Masters history by a winner and the first since Doug Ford in 1957. The others were Jimmy Demaret (1940) and Ben Hogan (1951).
Still More On Weir: He becomes the first Canadian to have a three-win season on the PGA TOUR.
With Weir leading the money list, it marks the first time since 1999 that Tiger Woods did not lead the TOUR in earnings following the Masters. David Duval led in 1999 and then Tiger led each of the past three seasons.
Sometimes statistics can be misleading. That's not true in this case, however. The top four players in Scoring Average -- Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Mike Weir and Davis Love III -- have won 10 of the season's first 15 events.
When Tiger Woods made the cut on the number last week in Augusta it ran his streak of consecutive cuts made to 102. It also marked only the third time during that streak that he made the cut on the nose. He also did it at the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational and the 2002 Buick Invitational.
Don't be surprised to see a few Putting records set this week at the Heritage. Since the TOUR started keeping stats of fewest putts taken in a tournament in 1980, 7 of the 10 lowest totals have occurred at Harbour Town.
The first lefty to win a major championship, Bob Charles, is expected back soon from elbow problems that have kept him out of action for all of 2003.
He's not 50 yet (Sept. 16), but Jerry Pate will be playing this week in the Pro-Am portion of the Emerald Coast Classic. He's a resident of nearby Pensacola and is eligible to make his real debut on the Champions Tour at the SAS Championship in late September.
It used to be that Champions Tour players thought their best years were between 50-54 years of age. Maybe not. The three leading money winners this season are Gil Morgan (56), Hale Irwin(57) and Dana Quigley (56).
Nationwide Tour alums took home six Top-10 finishes from last week's Masters tournament. Runner-up Len Mattiace led the way with Jim Furyk (4th), Jeff Maggert (5th), Ernie Els (T8), Jonathan Byrd (T8) and David Toms (T8), following close behind.
The field at this week's First Tee Arkansas Classic is one of the strongest ever assembled on the Nationwide Tour. In addition to most of the leading money winners on the Tour, a total of 30 former PGA TOUR champions are in the field as well. The 30 players have combined for 64 wins with three having played in the Ryder Cup and two having won the Vardon Trophy.
The course for this week's First Tee Arkansas Classic, the Diamante CC, is the second-longest course played on the Nationwide Tour at 7,519 yards. Despite the length, last year's field average was under-par at 71.403. One reason for that was the field average of 301.2 yards off the tee.
SHOTLINK STAT OF THE WEEK
Since putting always plays a key role at Harbour Town, let's look at some PGA TOUR averages on percentage of putts made.